Jul 28, 2020
  1. Other Health Professions Student
I know this isn't a medical school topic, but I need some advice. I'm an undergrad at Rice University in Houston, TX. My goal is pretty specific; I want to do fieldwork in epidemiology for a number of years (infectious disease epi...like what EIP does) and then enter global health policy (WHO). On that note, I've been seriously considering JD/MPH dual degrees so that I can 1. have the experience for epi and 2. have the law and policy background for the global health portion of my career.

Would it be better to do a JD/MPH together or get an MPH then go back for a law degree, if the law degree is necessary at all? I've gotten wildly different advice from person to person; some say I'll be overqualified for public health/epi positions at the start of my career, while others say that I would be really competitive. My undergrad stats are good, and I'm reasonably sure that I can get into well-reputed programs.

Ultimately I know the law degree won't be a wasted one and altogether it'll be expensive, but I want to get insight.


2+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2016
  1. Attending Physician
It sounds like the JD would not actually be necessary for what you want to do. I'd suggest getting the MPH and then seeing where you head with it. If you find yourself wishing you had the JD, go back and get it. Otherwise, you'll have saved a LOT of money and several years of your life.
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7+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2013
Honestly doesn't sound like you would need the JD from what you're telling me, unless you wanted to do law or become a legal officer at the WHO.

You do want to consider doing something that sets you apart. Lots of people will have MPHs and a lot of these positions at WHO are very competitive. Sometimes people get that with PhDs/research, MDs, etc. Really depends on what type of position you're aiming for.
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5+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2015
  1. Pre-Pharmacy
MPH and maybe PhD in top health policy program might be a better path for your career.

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